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Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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|The Snow Creature||
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|The Snow Creature (OGM)||
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|The Snow Creature (Matroska)||
Subject: Snore Creature?
Another strange Film Noir/Sci-Fi hybrid from W. Lee Wilder, the older and more unique brother of director Billy Wilder.
I'm biased in that I do love this film (mostly for sentimental reasons), but I am not unaware of its many, many flaws, mainly the slow pace and repeated shots. However for me, the sheer weirdness makes up for the boredom in this case. We used to call it "Snore Creature" yet it still has that strange, dreary, ultimately ineffable quality that makes it best viewed at 3 am while under the influence (of what is up to you, but pizza and root beer works for me), and with toothpicks holding up your eyelids. Fun to watch with a friend who also has a good sense of humor and a taste for slow, bizarre old b-movies.
The MPEG2 copy here is as good a print as you'll find anywhere. If you're brave, watch this one as the second half of a double feature with another W. Lee Wilder film, namely KILLERS FROM SPACE, and make sure the snacks and drinks are abundant and a-flowing.
Subject: A shaggy man story.
This one is right on the cusp of being so bad it's good. The problem is the first thirty minutes are mind-numbingly boring, with endless and sometimes repeated shots of the backs of climbing men. For variety there are endless shots of men walking through the Bronson Canyon cave. Once the creature is brought to L.A. the so-bad-it's-good fun begins, where with shades of "Them!" (released the same year) there is a pursuit through the storm drains. A cast of regulars that includes Paul Langton, Teru Shimada and William Phipps is better than W. Lee Wilder's direction, and much better than Miles Wilder's screenplay. The bottom line is fun for schlock movie lovers with working fast-forward buttons. All others beware!
Subject: This Movie Killed Irony
The description offered for this film glosses over a lot of content. For instance, the expedition into the Himalayas is find new plants. It doesn't become about the yeti until a the head Sherpa's wife gets kidnapped by one. Then the movie's about the Sherpa forcing the expedition's leaders to help find his wife and take revenge on the yeti that stole her.
The US stuff comes later, about halfway through the film. In fact, I didn't know it was coming at all. The Sherpa story seemed like enough. That was a good story--abysmally executed, yes, but good. There's an odd conceit at work in the film--the Sherpa's wife is kidnapped/killed (I'm not sure) so he wants to find the beast that did it. Reasonable enough. But the white guys leading the expedition don't want to go. The Sherpa is the nominal villain of the piece for wanting to save/avenge his wife. Talk about an accidental window into the ideology of empire. "Yes, yes, your soulmate's being ravaged by some huge monster from beyond time, but there are flowers to pick man! Get your priorities straight."
The movie just gets strange after that. Maybe it was already strange and just kept opening new and odder doors--the monster's held up in immigration, footage of the monster is just one strip of film played forward, backward or paused as needed, and there are bad set mistakes throughout (a rock bounces off an actor's head during an avalanche scene, a shadow from one of the studio lights is plainly visible, the shot with the shadow is reused later in the same scene, etc.). Maybe if I was watching the film with the right people I could make more jokes about it. As it was it's just awful.
Lesson learned: Botanists carry high-balls with them on expeditions. Who knew?
If they are climbing mountains; why are they walking down hill in all the scenes?
Why would they have to go through the Dept. of Immigration with a Yeti?
So many questions, and no answers.
Where's my Scotch? That's personal property.
Why are Dr.'s always drunks in old movies?
Subject: A bad one
This movie is a total dog. An abominable snowman is loosed on a big city -- Los Angeles I think -- terrorizing the populace. No one gets too excited about it though. There are a few humorously bad aspects to the film. The creature is caught by botanists on an expedition in the Himalayan mountains of India. The Sherpas and other locals, played by Japanese actors, speak Japanese in lieu of Hindi. The creature is shipped to the US in a refrigerated container not much larger than a shipping crate for a refrigerator. The police station scenes are quite spartan. Acting and dialog are silly bad at times. I noticed the director's name is W. Lee Wilder, never to be confuse him with Billy Wilder.
I downloaded the 256kb mpeg4 file. Video and audio are fine; quite clean.